Commodity Online
Last week US jobless claims data increased concerns that US may be tipping back to into recession and The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials dropped to the lowest level since July 29, while the dollar advanced. This resulted in weakness in gold, base metals and energy complex.

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity shipping costs, had its biggest two-week gain in 14 months as Chinese iron ore buying extended a surge in charter rates for vessels that carry the steelmaking raw material.

The gauge jumped 4.2 percent today to 2,756 points, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. It's climbed 36 percent in the past two weeks, the largest fortnightly advance since June 2009. Charter rates for iron-ore carrying capesizes had the largest increase today, rising 8.9 percent to $34,913 a day.

The Baltic Dry Index has now climbed 40 percent in August while capesize charter rates have more than doubled, according to the exchange. The rising demand is enabling owners to overcome the effects of a fleet that's expanding at about twice the speed of seaborne trade in commodities.

Rubber import duty may fall to 20%
The Government-appointed panel to look into the problems of the rubber industry has recommended that the Customs duty on natural rubber imports be brought down to either Rs 20.46 for a kg or 20 per cent, whichever is lower. This comes as a major relief to the consuming industry which has seen a widening divide between the Indian and international price of natural rubber.

The duty of Rs 20.46 for a kg was arrived at by calculating the last three-year average price of natural rubber in Indian markets, which worked out to Rs 102.32 for a kg. As the price of natural rubber soared in the Indian and international markets, the industry was constrained to pay as much as Rs 30-32 for a kg. As the Customs duty continued to remain at 20 per cent, it had hampered imports which resulted in differentials between Indian and international prices widening to as much as Rs 30 for a kg.

Political pressures force delay in tabling GST Bill.
Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states, along with Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, have forced the Centre to defer implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) to beyond April. Two days after these states sought more time to study the draft constitutional amendments for the rollout of the biggest indirect tax reform in the country, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today privately conceded that the implementation date would be missed. He said it was pointless to introduce the Bill in Parliament when there was no consensus among state governments on the issue.

Area under certified coffee in Kerala highest
Area under 'certified' coffee, that is, coffee certified by certain international agencies to have been produced in environmentally sustainable and labour-friendly conditions is slated to increase by at least 7,000 acres in 2010-11, from the present level of about 50,000 acres .

The robusta-growing Wayanad region in Kerala accounts for most of this year's increase in acreage under certified coffee.

It is reliably learnt that the ABC Group plans to bring 2,000-2,500 acres under UTZ Certified this year - 1,600 acres in Kerala and 600-700 acres in Karnataka. It has about 6,000 acres under certified coffee plantation.

Gold prices have climbed slower this week as weakness in equities and commodities affected yellow metals. US Gold prices managed to gain 1% during the week with stronger dollar weighing on gold sentiments. Towards weekend inesters sold equities and commodiities to retain cash on mounting evidence of economic slowdwon. Gold for December delivery fell to $1228, demand has decreased at higher price levels. Gold prices are set for correction before climbing back to present levels.In London, bullion for immediate delivery fell to $1127. US silver future also weakened to $18.04.MCX October gold sees sideways trading at Rs 18727, support 18651 and resistance at Rs 18884.

Base metals
US jobless data casts its doubts on economic recovery last week and it was not favourable for base metals pack. US copper for September delilvery fell to $3.2910 while technical support is seen at $3.23.

LME Copper fell to $7252 with US copper inventories seeing a drop. If inflationary pressures tighten in the Eastern nations, it could prove adverse for metals.
With base metal sentiment at the mercy of macroeconomic data, inventory levels took a back seat, despite a falling trend in recent weeks.

Latest LME data showed copper stocks slipped 1,800 tonnes to 401,725 tonnes, having fallen from 6-1/2 year highs at 555,075 tonnes in mid-February.

LME stocks for the metal stand at 4.46 million tonnes, down from a record level above 4.64 million tonnes in January. A large portion of the stocks are tied up in finance deals. Significant long positions amounting to 30 to 40 percent of warrants on LME stocks and cash contracts attracted attention from market participants. Tin dropped $450 to close at $20,650 a tonne and nickel shed $245 to end at $21,550.

Crude Oil
Crude oil has weakend on US jobless claims data that has created concerns about economic recovery in US. Total US crude oil inventories reached their highest level since 1990 and consequently, crude oil for September delivery at Nymex fell to $73.46 witnessing a fall of 2.6% this week.Inventories have risen to 20 year high and demand growth seems to be faltering. Rising inventories and falling prices have put increased pressure on OPEC nations to stick to their production quotas. News from the equity markets aren't rosy enough to signal economic recovery and there fore crude oil prices may remain weak in the short to medium term.

Weak global market cues, good rainfall, good prospects for kharif edible oil has weakened the prices of soy complex . November Soybean contract rose to $10.409 a bushel before falling back to $10.35 and is set to fall to $9.50 level. Sowing in the Midwest has surged and weak palm oil prices and higher edible oil imports have weakened the domestic edible oil market in India.

At NCDEX September soybean has weakened to from Rs 2121 to Rs 2062 while September Soyoil falls to 489.45 from Rs 511 earlier this week. September Rapeseed contract fell from Rs 566.70 to Rs 554.6 with festival season demand providing firm support. Malaysian crude palm oil futures also fell drastically in recent weeks. As on August 19, area under oilseeds in India has risen to 16.14 mn as against 15.32 mn ha a year ago.

India imported 800,644 tonnes of vegetable oil in July, up 34 percent from 596,024 tonnes a year earlier, on heavy purchases by traders ahead of the August-October festive season.

Chana prices have gained slightly this week on festival season demand and consequent purchases by millers ahead of festivals. However, the bearish factors such as higher acreage under kharif pulses, higher output hopes and fresh arrivals of moong in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra also exerted pressure on prices.As on August 12, Chana kharif acreage stood at 10,321 mn ha as against 8.6 mn ha a year ago. NCDEX September prices rose from Rs 2249 to Rs 2277 while October contract rose from Rs 2307 to Rs 2349. NCDEX Chana September is supported at 2200 levels while October contract has support at Rs 2300 levels.

Pepper prices rose last week on supply squeeze and lower level buying. However, overseas demand continued to remain weak. NCDEX August rose from Rs 19322 to Rs 20718 while September contract rose from Rs 19572 to Rs 20836. India's pepper exports are down 5% to 4650 tonnes in April-June 2010. Pepper prices are set to recover again after falling in last weekend on profit taking as fundamentals are strong---poor supplies and dwindling stocks in major markets. Vietnam pepper exports are also down 5%.

Rubber prices in India have fallen sharply on Ministry of Commerce decision to sharply reduce the import duty of natural rubber from 20% to 7.5% and spot prices for RSS4 grade in spot markets fell from Rs 180 levels to Rs 171. There is visible selling pressure in the markets. NMCE Rubber September futures fell from Rs 177,28 to Rs 167.31 while October contract at NMCE fell from Rs 169.20 to Rs 163.50. Last week rubber futures at TOCOM saw prices rise to three month high on rain fallin key producing nations.